Making decisions and getting your views heard

At times you might need help to make choices about your life or to make sure others hear what you have to say. You can ask your family, a teacher or someone else you trust to help you.

Making your voice heard is so important. It can help you to get the right support and be the best you can be.

For more information and advice

Lancashire SEND IAS

If you are under 25 and have a special educational need or a disability, you can get free information, advice and support from SEND IAS.

SEND IAS is short for Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service.

SEND IAS can help you with lots of things, such as planning what to say in a meeting or sharing what you think.

They can help you to understand information and apply it to your own situation.

You can get help from the service with or without your parents or carers.

The advisers are friendly and will always do their best to help.

Everything you say will be private. The advisers will only tell someone what you’ve said if they are worried that someone is being hurt or might be hurt.

If you would like support from SEND IAS contact them on 0300 123 6706 or email

You can find out more about the service on the Lancashire SEND IAS website.


If you need more help, there are services called advocacy services and they can put you in touch with a person called an advocate.

Advocates can:

  • help you speak up for yourself
  • speak on your behalf at meetings or appointments
  • talk to you about what choices and options you have
  • support you to make choices so that you have more control over your life
  • help you access services

These are some websites where you can find advocacy support and other ways to have your say about services in Lancashire:

National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) - advocacy support for young people in transition to adult services.

Advocacy focus - advocacy for adults and carers including help to be heard.

Caritas care - REACT, peer advocacy - support for local people with a learning disability to speak up on behalf of others.

Get your rights - About your rights when making choices about your healthcare.

Lancashire Autism Partnership Board - provide information on rights, independence, choices and inclusion for people with experience of autism throughout Lancashire.

POWAR - young people’s group helping to improve special educational needs and disabilities services in Lancashire.